Federal law will make sea urchin shipping from Maine easier

ELLSWORTH, Maine (AP)—Supporters of Maine’s sea urchin industry say a federal law change will make it easier to ship the seafood out of state.

Maine’s the site of a fishery for sea urchins, which are harvested so their roe can be used as food. But members of the industry and some lawmakers have charged over the years that burdensome inspection regulations make it difficult to ship the product where it needs to go.

Former Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin and current Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree are among the lawmakers who have called for an ease on those burdens, which sometimes result in the seafood spoiling while awaiting inspections.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says in the Federal Register that it’s amending regulations about importation and exportation of urchins to address the problem.

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